May 7th, 2012
04:12 PM GMT
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London (CNN) – So far, the markets have taken the elections in Greece and France in stride. And why not? What has changed?

France helped broker the so-called Fiscal Compact, which is at the heart of closer integration in Europe. Does France now want to pull away from the eurozone and allow Germany to take all the decisions? Of course President-elect Francois Hollande would not want that.

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Filed under: European UnionGreeceRecession


May 7th, 2012
08:05 AM GMT
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(CNN) – With the election of Francois Hollande as the president of France and a Greek poll dealing a major blow to the coalition government in Athens, voters in Europe are pushing back on austerity.

"I asked for a strong mandate, but people chose differently. I respect their message," Greece’s New Democracy party leader Antonis Samaras said late Sunday. "Today's result expresses people's disappointment towards the implemented dead-end economic policy that tested their limits and didn't include the necessary development policy."

Meanwhile, French voters gave victory to the nation’s first a left-wing president since Francois Mitterrand left office in 1995. "Austerity can no longer be something that is inevitable," President-elect Hollande said.

Both elections have shaken the markets, which yet again are faced with uncertainty about the fate of the eurozone. Will a new coalition government adhere to the agreements that kept the fragile Greek economy part of the eurozone, or will political forces place Greece’s membership among the euro nations once again in doubt? “This could be the start of another deeply uncertain period in Greece with consequences far beyond its borders,” observed CNN correspondent Matthew Chance in Athens.
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